Ancestors  Honored  in  the  Community

It wasn't until my grown son got me interested in family history and genealogy that I learned how deeply rooted I am in Beaumont, and more specifically in Jefferson County, especially as it pertains to my mother's material lineage. Most of that line were in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, from the late 1700s and the early to mid 1800s when many of them became the first Texas settlers acquiring land from the Mexican government. The Texas Historical Commission was gracious to name Thomas Court on their marker in Sabine Pass. The Museum of the Gulf Coast honored the Sparks Settlement, established by the Sparks family who traveled here by ox wagon from Tennessee, arriving in 1837 after Texas Independence in 1836. The Gentz came by ship across the Atlantic from their homeland of Usedom, Prussia, in 1850. These families, as well as others, were residents of Aurora/Spark Settlement, which later became Port Arthur. But due to disease and hurricanes, in late 1800s, they abandoned the community and moved a little inland to Port Neches, Groves, and Beaumont. The Gentz family were neighbors and friends, if not related, with the Block family of Port Neches, also from Prussia. When the Blocks developed Oak Bluff Cemetery, they dedicated it to my grandfather. Two of the Sparks brothers, brothers to my great-great-grandmother, and others, began the community and school that came to be known as South Park, where I was blessed to grow up there and attend school K-12. Such deep roots is a nice feeling! If you're interested in these families or others, please visit my site linked to by the "Genealogy" link below.
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